I think we can all agree that high school can be both exhilarating and tragic all at the same time, right? So much is happening.
There are friends and drama and boys and more drama and homework and dances and proms and slow songs and dates in cars and staying up until dawn talking to your best friend. There are butterflies and broken hearts, dreams, plans, and finding your way. In the midst of it all, there are friends. Friends that you navigate that crazy, scary world with… best friends.
Do you know what best friends do a lot of during high school? Eat. There are so many random foods that remind me of some of my best high school friends and trigger such fun memories. Things like iced animal crackers, Dr. Pepper, cheese sandwiches, pizza rolls, Twizzlers, and… Soft Batch chocolate chip cookies. Once I discovered a world of packaged chocolate chip cookies that weren’t crunchy, all bets were off. I was a Soft Batch fanatic in no time at all.
It’s been awhile now that I’ve been trying to replicate the Soft Batch chocolate chip cookies of my 1990’s alternative music-filled teenage years. Turns out, it’s not so easy. I tried a handful of random recipes to no avail, then I tried the recipe from Serious Eats. These actually had pretty much the exact same flavor as the original Soft Batch cookies, but try as I might, I just couldn’t get the texture to turn out the way I wanted. Finally, I settled on a compromise, which included my homemade vanilla pudding mix; using this, along with slightly underbaking the cookies, resulted in perfectly soft cookies reminiscent of the ones we would binge on in high school.
I had my Chief Culinary Consultant taste one and he said that it kind of tasted like a chewy store-bought cookie, and thus, I considered it a success. While I have a long list of awesome chocolate chip cookie recipes that I love, I was thrilled to be able to recreate something that reminds me of some of my favorite people.
Grab a cookie, a glass of milk and cheers to good friends!
A recreation of those ever-so-soft chewy chocolate chip cookies.
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup homemade vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pudding mix, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing only until a little flour remains. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips.
4. With a medium cookie scoop (or 2 tablespoons), form dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake until the outside edges are just set and light golden brown, and the middles are still puffy, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Note: You can substitute one small (3.4-ounce) package of instant vanilla pudding mix for the homemade pudding mix.